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The woodbine so, with spiral grace, and breathes Wide-spreading odours from her flowery wreaths.
Borne by the Muse from rills in shepherds' ears Murmuring but one smooth story for all years, I gladly commune with the mind and heart Of him who thus survives by classic art, His actions witness, venerate his mien, And study Trajan as by Pliny seen; Behold how fought the Chief whose conquering sword Stretched far as Earth might own a single lord ; In the delight of moral prudence schooled, How feelingly at home the Sovereign ruled; Best of the good - in Pagan faith allied To more than Man, by virtue deified.
Memorial Pillar ! 'mid the wrecks of Time Preserve thy charge with confidence sublime The exultations, pomps, and cares of Rome, Whence half the breathing world received its doom ; Things that recoil from language ; that, if shewn By apter pencil, from the light had flown. A Pontiff, Trajan here the Gods implores, There greets an Embassy from Indian shores ;
Lo! he harangues his cohorts — there the storm
may, his grandeur scorns the test Of outward symbol, nor will deign to rest On aught by which another is deprest.*
Alas! that One thus disciplined could toil To enslave whole Nations on their native soil; So emulous of Macedonian fame, That, when his age was measured with his aim, He drooped, 'mid else unclouded victories, And turned his eagles back with deep-drawn sighs; O weakness of the Great ! O folly of the Wise!
Where now the haughty Empire that was spread With such fond hope? her very speech is dead; Yet glorious Art the sweep of Time defies, And Trajan still, through various enterprise, Mounts, in this fine illusion, tow'rd the skies : Still are we present with the imperial Chief, Nor cease to gaze upon the bold Relief Till Rome, to silent marble unconfined, Becomes with all her years a vision of the Mind. —
Fair is the Swan, whose majesty, prevailing
Or rival, save the Queen of night
pure, so bright, so fitted to embrace,
With self-sufficing solitude,
Might in the universal bosom reign,